What you need to know:
- Contrary to what you see inside your ballot boxes on voting day, Kenyans are generally intelligent people.
- Our advice to the commission is to put all their eggs in the basket of restoring public confidence.
Dear Wafula Chebukati,
We saw you this week at the Bomas of Kenya glowing like a firefly. You were calmer on the podium, never wrestled with words, we even noticed you installed new springs on your steps. For the first time you had your eyeglasses looking down on the audience like an old school professor keeping tabs on a notorious corner of the lecture hall where trouble is brewed for lunch.
Unlike in 2017, your speech wasn’t written inside a nuclear reactor. Your audience smiled back at you with synchronised claps whenever you made a pregnant point. It’s been a long time coming but you finally confessed that the 2017 elections took the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) staffers back to school, and you’re now ready to graduate in 2022 with flying colours, as long as the examiners don’t set questions outside the 2017 syllabus.
It wasn’t the Chebukati we have grown accustomed to. The one we know has been quick to confront, slow to fill loopholes, and ready to deny that IEBC needs professional help even when their body language is on the ground begging for an ambulance.
Contrary to what you see inside your ballot boxes on voting day, Kenyans are generally intelligent people. They can tell when IEBC are having difficulties counting votes and can predict with near-accuracy when tallying machines will choose life over death, and feign sleeping sickness when confronted with a court order.
However, in their heart of hearts, Kenyans are a forgiving lot. Had we not been tolerant to institutionalised annoyance, we wouldn’t have continued to allow the government to get on our nerves without a neurologist’s licence.
Restoring public confidence
Your commissioners should be happy to know that all we ask of IEBC is a clean restart in 2022. We could’ve asked for your heads on a plate for botching the 2017 presidential election but we already prayed for you during the last National Prayer Day and we don’t want to give God the impression that Kenyans don’t know what they want, even though He already knows.
Soon, the Selection Panel will be adding you four more commissioners to save the three of you from checking into hospital with back pains after carrying the IEBC on your backs for more than three years. There are those who will not be happy with the outcome of the selection results, but the panel should remember it’s in their personal interest to put their sleep first and not do things that will later walk on their bedroom ceiling at night asking for answers.
All in all, our advice to the commission is to put all their eggs in the basket of restoring public confidence, and then jealously guard that basket from being touched by politicians. This current crop of politicians has proven that humans can survive without a brain, and that you don’t need a degree to make a ground-breaking scientific discovery worthy of the Nobel prize for medicine.
If you forget everything we’ve asked of you, don’t forget to leave politics to politicians. A wise man once said you should never argue with a man who buys ink by the barrel. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with a wooden handle.
Whatever you do, remember the only thing Kenyans are interested in is an election where IEBC finally learns how to count. We humbly make this request that if you feel IEBC wouldn’t have learnt how to count by August 2022, it would be prudent of you to let us know in advance so we can plan how we’ll carry our ballot papers to Bomas of Kenya instead of allowing you to compete with our exes on who can break our hearts the most.
Mr Oguda comments on topical issues. Gabriel.firstname.lastname@example.org